We have a committed and expert team of Governors who support and guide the School.

The Governors of Downe House act as the Trustees of the School in respect of its status as a charity. They provide strategic guidance on the running of the School and are the point of last appeal on issues such as the exclusion of a pupil or employees’ grievances. They are also responsible for appointing the Headmistress and Bursars.

The Board of Governors consists of members with a wide range of knowledge and experience. Many are current parents, former parents or past pupils, but some have no previous connection with the School and therefore provide an even broader perspective. They are all volunteers who receive no remuneration and gain no pecuniary advantage from their position, but without them the School could not function either legally or practically.

The Chairman of Governors’ postal address is:

c/o Downe House, Cold Ash, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG18 9JJ

The Chairman may also be contacted via the Clerk to Governors, Mr C Cockburn on 01635 200 286.

The full Board meets four times a year and there is a smaller Nominations Panel that is called together once a year to consider candidates for election as Governors. Committees (Finance and General Purposes (F&GP) and Education) and the Estates Sub-Committee also meet four times a year in advance of Board meetings. In addition, Governors meet at least once a year to fulfil their statutory obligations as directors and trustees of the School’s various subsidiary bodies.

The current Governors are:

  • Mr Matthew J L Kirk, MA (Chairman of Governors)
  • Mr Timothy Boucher, BA, FCA
  • Ms Elizabeth Clarke, BA, CPE
  • Mr Simon Creedy-Smith, BA, ACA (Chairman of Finance & General Purposes Committee)
  • Lady Cunningham, BSc FRCP
  • Ms Veryan Exelby, MA
  • Ms Fru Hazlitt
  • Mrs Fiona Holmes
  • Mr Nicholas Hornby, BSc
  • Dr Christopher O’Kane, MA, MB BChir, MSc, DPhil
  • Mr Christopher Radford, BSc, FRICS (Chairman of Estates Sub-Committee)
  • Dr Clare Ratnage, Bsc MBChB, MRCP, MRCGP
  • Mr Mark Ridley
  • Mr Joe Smith, BA MEd PGCE (Chairman of Education Committee)
  • Mr Mark Wippell, MA, LLM

The Finance and Administration Bursar, Mr C (Colin) Cockburn FCCA acts as Clerk to the Governors.

Our Headmistress

Meet the Headmistress of Downe House, Mrs Emma McKendrick.


Why choose Downe House?

We understand that choosing a school for your daughter is a complex process. Find out what makes a Downe House education stand out and why you should choose us.


Our history

Did you know that Downe House was founded in 1907 in the home of Charles Darwin in Kent and moved to Cold Ash in 1922? Find out more about our history.



Get directions to Downe House (RG18 9JJ). We are located on a 110-acre site in the village of Cold Ash in West Berkshire with excellent transport links, just two miles from the M4 and A34 and under an hour’s drive to Heathrow Airport.

About Us location 1000 x 1000 downe house school

Visits & Open Mornings

The best way to find out more about Downe House, is to come and experience it for yourself – arrange a visit or join us for one of our Open Mornings?